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Dress/ Dressmaking

Grey Jumper Dress

There seems to be a lot of jumper dresses in the shops this autumn so thought I would add one to my own wardrobe!

I purchased a length of a really good quality grey wool rib fabric at our local fabric store just recently. I am not normally a fan of the colour grey, think it can be a bit boring on its own, but was sure I could add something to it to brighten it up.  In amongst my stash in my studio I found a short length of grey polyester georgette with a silver design printed on, which teamed with the rib fabric perfectly.


I drafted my own pattern for this dress which has raglan sleeves, a ‘V’ cowl neckline and deep shaped cuffs. I made piping from the contrast fabric and added it to the collar and cuffs which highlight the design details.  I covered small 11mm buttons with the contrasting fabric carefully cutting the fabric to show the silver colour.

I am really pleased with the outcome with this dress, fashionable yet different from the crowd.

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Dress/ Dressmaking

Tracy’s Wedding Dress

Well it was Tracy’s long awaited wedding to Shaun last Saturday and fortunately the good weather we have been having held out, it was a beautiful day. Tracy has been so excited about their wedding for a long time and had put in such a lot of hard work in preparation. So apart from the usual things one has to do to organise a wedding such as book the church, wedding reception, catering and paper work etc, she spent many hours exquisitely making free machine embroidered flowers and nose gays which decorated the ends of the pews in the church. She made them in her favourite colours of purple and gold which was the theme for the day. Tracy’s sister, who is also good with a needle and thread made the very lovely table decorations for the reception again in purple and gold hand sewing some 38,000 beads into place!  


The Dress…………….

After looking around at wedding dress styles and a few trying ons at bridal shops Tracy asked if I would make her dress for her. I was of course honoured to be asked and although it is a huge responsibility I became as excited about it as Tracy, her enthusiasm was infectious. Tracy chose a Vogue pattern by Belville Sassoon for an evening dress and we went fabric shopping. We purchased duchess satin and silk dupion in a sort of ‘latte’ colour which we felt complimented her colouring. So,back in February this year, which seems a long time ago now, I took Tracy’s measurements and started work.


Firstly I made up a toile for the dress in a muslin fabric, this is a mock up so that the style and fit etc can be evaluated and any amendments can be made to the dress design and pattern before cutting into the main fabric. On trying on the toile Tracy was ecstatic and cried as she looked upon her image in the mirror, she could now see her wedding gown coming to life!! 

After making the necessary alterations I set to and started on the real thing. Firstly I made up the inner corset with a tightly woven cotton coutil fabric and used spiral steel for the boning. Once the comfort and fit of the corset was perfected the hook and eye fastenings and petersham waist stays were added.

The main body of the dress was cut from the duchess satin whilst the the front bodice was cut from the silk dupion, each piece was was underlined with silk organza before construction. As the dress took shape there were many fittings to gauge the look and fit and we played around with ideas of how to embellish it. I made lots of roses in various sizes from the duchess satin, dupion and organza fabrics along with lots of rouleau, these were carefully stitched into place with lots of tiny pearl beads. The zip was inserted in the back seam and disguised with bridal looping and 32 covered buttons down its length. The shoulder straps were set just off the shoulder with more rouleau and beads. The hem of the dress was bound with silk organza and hand sewn into place. The lining and corset was then fitted into the dress, this then gave it support and stop it from falling. A few more roses were added to the back skirt to disguise a hook and eye which would enable the back of the dress to lifted up when dancing.

With the dress complete I then made up a little bolero jacket in the silk dupion, again underlined with silk organza. I ‘ruched’ up the 3/4 sleeves to the elbow and added bridal looping, rouleau and yet more covered buttons to echo the ones on the back of the dress. Little embroidered roses and rouleau added to the back of the jacket completed the the outfit. 

She looked absolutely radiant!


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Ring Cushion

After completion of the dress I made up this little ring cushion, appliquéd and embroidered with both of their names and of the church where they where married.